Campaigning related to the local government election will come to an end from midnight today.
According to the election Act, campaigning has to be stopped 48 hours prior to the Election Day. However the campaign offices of Political Parties have been allowed to function until Wednesday night. Twenty nine political Parties and more than 300 independent groups contest for 235 local government institutions. The Election Commissioner’s Office said that the total number of candidates exceed 20,000.
Senior DIG Gamini Navaratne said that the police will provide security around the polling stations and the check points. It will carryout mobile patrol and provide security for the transportation of ballot boxes as well as counting centres. He said that the officers are committed towards providing security in the post election scenario as well.
Around 50,000 police officers will be deployed to provide security on the Election Day. Fifteen thousand security forces personnel and 5000 Police Special Task Force personnel will also be deployed. A special security plan will be implemented around the counting centres as well. He said that 150 incidents of election law violations have been reported. A 129 persons have been arrested and there are 18 candidates amongst them. He requested the voters to visit the polling booths at 7.00 a.m. on the 17th and cast their votes. People should not loiter around the polling booths and on roads as it will hinder the maintenance of law and order.
Meanwhile the deadline for the removal of cutouts and banners came to an end from midnight yesterday. The Police Elections Secretariat said that the candidates who did not remove their cutouts and banners will be taken into custody.